Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hiking the Gap of Dunloe

Catch up here!  Part one, part two.

We awoke to the aroma of a traditional Irish breakfast, consisting of two sausages, two slices of ham/bacon, a poached egg, tomato, baked beans, and a basketful of toast.  Accompanying breakfast was the choice of tea or coffee, along with orange juice.

As we filled our stomachs, we discussed our options for the day's activities.  I had narrowed down the possibilities to either a tour of the Gap of Dunloe, or driving the Ring of Kerry.  Noreen recommended the Gap of Dunloe, which sounded better to us rather than another day in the car.

The tour bus picked us up from the B&B at 10 am and dropped us off at Kate Kearney's Cottage, the starting point of our 7-mile hike.  Again, there was the option to ride a jaunting car, at a cost of €20 per person.  We both preferred walking, as it was cheaper and a better opportunity to stop and enjoy the views.

We took 330 pictures throughout the day, and probably could've taken more if we hadn't been so busy walking 7 miles.  At the beginning of the trail, there were a couple of horses peacefully napping in the morning sun.

We crossed an old arch bridge between the first two lakes, called the Wishing Bridge because wishes made upon it are destined to come true.

The weather was perfect for an outdoor adventure, a gentle breeze keeping us cool during the two and a half hour walk.

The Gap of Dunloe is a mountain pass that was cut by glaciers and is surrounded by five lakes.  It has an elevation increase of 500 foot across the 11km route.

I was in love with all of the baby sheep!

 We discovered several abandoned cottages and ruined houses.  There were also several newer occupied homes and a church near the end of the trail.

We drank from the streaming water coming off of the mountains.  The water was ice cold and refreshing!

 When we reached Lord Brandon's cottage, we purchased a bottle of water and waited for the boat ride to commence.  The tour guide gave us an hour long boat ride around the three Killarney Lakes.


When we arrived at this 300 year old bridge, the guide asked us to get out of the boat so he could cross underneath it.  The weight of all the passengers was too much - the depth of the water was incredibly shallow.

The boat tour ended back at Ross Castle, where the tour bus was waiting to take us back to our B&B. We had lunch at a deli - Austin had fish and chips, I had a grilled chicken pesto panini.

Later, we enjoyed some live traditional Irish music at O'Donoghue's Pub, followed by a late night pizza.

 It was a truly remarkable day, definitely one of our favorite memories from our honeymoon.

Next up: Ring of Kerry.

1 comment:

  1. Lambs are my favorite animals ever.

    I'm pretty sure that this just made me even MORE nuts to go to Ireland. I didn't think that was possible.